Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Cringe Stories

Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 11:44 pm on Tuesday, May 30, 2006

About a week ago, on KCRW 89.9’s This American Life, there was a program about cringe stories. The host, Ira Glass, discussed what causes listeners and storytellers to cringe when hearing certain tales. He differentiated the emotion behind a cringe from other emotions like mad, sad, or angry. What he found was this:

Cringing is something humiliating that we do, followed by an instaneous moment of fear and vulnerability, as a result of seeing a truth about yourself through someone else’s eyes (e.g. maybe the “funny guy” is actually the laughing stock)

The reason I mention that is to share my previous cringe story and my new current one. Here’s the former story:

A pair of sisters I know lost their father a couple years back. I decided to go to their funeral. I was running late. I figured I would slip in the back unnoticed. I parked my car and came towards the general direction only to see the entire congregation of mourners facing my direction and (without a doubt) watching me walk up, self-consciously, to the casket. *CRINGE!!!!*

That’s pretty bad. But here’s what happened today. I had an appointment with my professor for a mock interview. I knew I needed my resume, a portfolio, and I should look decent. What happened? I stayed up all night finding and printing my best work for the portfolio, all the while encountering absurd obstacles. Then I fell asleep for an hour or two and, as a result, I had to patch my resume together this morning with the ugliest logo I could ever make in 20 minutes before leaving for school without washing my face (that’s unheard of for me).

I got there 7 minutes LATE, when the interview is only 10 minutes long, got all sorts of feedback about confusing layout, typos, and font substitions in my work and resume. To make matters begin AND end badly, after looking at my work, he closed the notebook only to point out the streaked silkscreen logo that I had tried to erase with acitone and which consequentially left some ugly, silver smear all over the folder. At that point he went off on how my biggest problem is that I don’t manage my time and give myself enough preparation for printing and presentation. It was the most humiliating thing.

And this after my huge triumph of completing my senior project and getting it up a day earlier than most of my classmates.. an extra day earned so I could make a complete idiot of myself for lack of preparation. Today, when it counts- when he might even be scouting students for future projects……*sigh.. it gives me serious doubt as to whether or not I’m ready for the real world of work and actual projects, and that thing called time management.

I sat outside the building for a good long time thinking and feeling stabbed by the truth. . I decided I must do something drastic to change that from now on. It would all start right there, that day… with a new look, of course.

So I drove to my regular hair place, called Boaz in Korea Town. I told the lady to do something drastic. Cut off my all my hair and give me highlights. Make me look artsy b/c I’m graduating and I finished my senior project. I showed her pictures of Sienna Miller’s recent crop and some others.

At this point I must share that I am one whose had MANY MANY salon experiences under korean hands. While some cuts have been hits, others, by and large, have repeatedly thrown me into an inescapable transformation into an ajuma (middleaged, korean lady with 3 kids who often perms her hair or otherwise has a short cut that she blow-drys into place). Maybe it’s me or my face that makes me see an old woman everytime I get a short cut at a korean salon. It hasn’t happened in a while, thankfully. But today I had a self-fulfilling prophecy…

I had asked for something drastic. I was mentally prepared for it. I even saw the color of my hair before the BLEACH had fully sapped the color of each strand. When it came time for the stylist to actually cut the hair, I was aware that I felt my courage dropping. But, I was determined to quiet my nerves and see what my fellow artist, the beautician, would achieve.

(40 minutes later) I thought to myself, “OMG. What have I done?”

*2 days later*

The past few days I’ve managed to avoid the bulk of people I normally run into. But when I do, I feel this really strange embarrassment. Like I have to explain myself. Today I saw one classmate and the girl I tutor. Her reaction? “EWWWWW….” The reaction of her 6 year old brother: “Your hair looks FREAKY!”

So I suppose, my cringe story wasn’t the incident that happened in my professor’s office that morning. Instead, it was how I reacted to my embarrassment: Going and shearing off all my hair in my self-contempt and believing that I could pull it off, only to hear a difficult truth about myself from children- the ones who will unfailingly be the most brutal when it comes to one’s self-perception.


My Senior Project

Filed under: Design — Annie at 3:27 am on Sunday, May 28, 2006

Printing sponsored by Bega Co., Inc.

Printers and Programs

Filed under: Creative Reflection — Annie at 2:47 am on Sunday, May 28, 2006

Murphy must have been trying to print something when he wrote his famous law. Why does it seem like printers have a natural resistance to interfacing with humans? Its as though printers become indignant about receiving the project leftovers and get uppity on you.

So Friday morning I was busy finishing up my designs for the fruit package. I had asked my father in law the night before if I could print about 10 sheets from his company; his company prints labels on huge cylinder printers but they have a really nice offset printer for their color samples.

I thought it would be as simple as plugging in my external drive, and clicking “print”. But no. There are two computers for design, and there is another that is a server for the company. Here were the problems I encountered.
1) The first computer didn’t have Adobe Indesign, so I opened my files in the second computer. The second computer didn’t have my typefaces so I brought out my laptop to convert my files to pdf
2) But they wouldn’t convert without shutting down Indesign on my laptop.
3) So I had to convert to outline and try bringing it back over to computer 2 a few times, but it continued showing missing links or fonts. Maybe I made some error there that I didn’t know about, like not unlocking or ungrouping everything.
4) I tried to directly connect to the company server via ethernet cable but once I was in computer 2 the font problem was still an issue
5) I tried bringing over the font files and uploading it into computer 2 but they didn’t work, even after restarting.
6) I realized I had taken the original font files over and they were no longer on my computer so I had to restore them because when I reopened the files on my laptop, all the text was different. I was freaking out that my work was mangled for ever with no backups
7) I downloaded the fonts from the internet onto computer 2 to which it came up as being already installed.
8) BRILLIANT IDEA: open the files in Illustrator and then convert to PDF

So all I had to do was copy, paste, and save as pdf and it worked. Go figure….. copying and pasting between Adobe Suite seems about the only convenient function between programs… atleast that I know of yet.

So… *sigh* what I learned as a designer is Copy Paste simplicity of Adobe suite, and always give your print jobs atleast 3 hours.

The Power of Community

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 1:51 pm on Saturday, May 20, 2006

I’ve been an English tutor for a little over a year now. Early on I was anxious to find supplemental material to help me teach grammar or to get ideas for writing assignments because I felt I lacked the experience. In my search I happened across a book titled, “The Pen Commandments” by Steven Frank. My tutoree really enjoyed the book and took it to school to show her english teacher. Now that teacher is using the book this year for her class curriculum AND she’ s making arrangements to have the author give a talk at the school. Wow. That’s just amazing. It makes me wonder who purchased, or donated the book to the library. But this chain of events happened because every person in the link took some extra initiative. That is just awe-inspiring.

the hard evidence

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 2:31 am on Saturday, May 20, 2006

“I’m getting so fat Shin!!”
“I know! You get fat so fast- stop doing that”
“omg…I’m gotta write that down”

The author’s feelings were not harmed in the exchange of that dialogue

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